With The Lights Out

Last Wednesday I went down to Target and purchased the box set every Nirvana fan has been waiting for. With The Lights Out cronicoles the entire career of Nirvana, right from a cover of Led Zeppelin’s Heartbreaker during their first concert to a boombox recording of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” when it was first written to an acoustic demo of “Do Re Mi” which was one of the last recorded songs for Nirvana before Kurt tied.

I have been a Nirvana fan since shortly after Kurt died in 1994 during 7th grade. The reason I wasn’t a fan earlier was simply due to my age, I was too young when Nirvana was taking over the music world. Nevermind and Unplugged in New York were actually the first two albums I ever purchased and I use those copies.

Over the years, I purchased every Nirvana album I could find. My brother Justin and I even at one point got into collecting Nirvana bootlegs, via cassette taps and even MP3’s right before they exploded online. It was fun collecting the bootlegs of songs we never heard before or different versions of songs we grew up listening to.

With The Lights Out brings tons of stuff into a nice little package. 3 CD’s worth of material and a DVD featuring footage lots of early footage of the band before they hit the big time and some from when they just hit the big time.

Without further ado, my review of the box set:

Clearly the first two out of three CD’s in the set have the gems here. Lots of early recordings, from their first live show, to early radio performances in 1987, to early demos, to some live performances. Great job and some gems in here for certain.

From CD one, my favorites include: Anorexorcist, Mrs. Butterworth, If You Must, Pen Cap Chew, Floyd The Barber, Dive, They Hung Him On A Cross, Ain’t It A Shame, and Even In His Youth. If I had to pick a song from that group, probably “Ain’t It A Shame” is the pick. What an amazing cover of a Ledbelly song. Pretty funny hearing Kurt do a blues song punked up big time and he pulls it off convincingly. “It ain’t it a shame to go fishing on sunday when you monday, tuesday, wednesday, or thursday, friday, saturday, ain’t it a shame!”

CD two gets very interesting. Favorits include from 1990 “Opinion,” some early acoustic demos of “Lithium,” “Been A Son,” “Sliver,” and a song that became famous four years later, “Where Did You Sleep Last Night.” Kind of interesting that the famous painful closing to that song that Kurt end up doing 4 years later is nowhere to be found in this version, which makes me wonder even more if that closing was more spontaneous and magical then ever. What a wonderful cover of “Here She Comes Now” and “D-7” on this CD as well. The performances of “Verse Chorus Verse,” “Endless, Nameless”, “Oh The Guilt”, and “Curmudgeon” are pretty great as well. My favorite song has to be two songs this time: “Here She Comes Now” and “Oh The Guilt.”

CD three quite frankly wasn’t that good. Rather sad really. I really thought there would be more newer material from this era on here. But there are some gems in here. The early performanes of “Rape Me” were very interesting to hear, especially how far the song evolved. The jam that became “Scentless Apprentice” was amazing. It begins with Dave Grohl actually showing Kurt how to play the main riff and then turns into a massive jam as the entire song structure pretty much came together in 9 minutes. Amazing.

Other gems on CD three include: a new version of “I Hate Myself And I Want To Die,” “Marigold” (Dave’s lead singing debut with Nirvana, shows how far he came from then to the Foo Fighters), and “Do Re Mi,” which pretty much is the last ever Nirvana song and shows the future direction the band was going to take.

To me though, the DVD was priceless. The first 9 songs come from a rehearsal in 1988 at Krist’s house, covering everything from “Love Buzz”, the first Nirvana song “Spank Thru”, a great cover of “Immigrant Sog, and more. Then it cuts out to several tour videos, a copy of the Sub Pop music video for “In Bloom,” and one of the best performances I have seen by Nirvana, the beautiful electric version of “Jesus Doesn’t Want Me For A Sunbeam” live. I quite honestly think this should have been released as a music video for this album…it would have gotten a lot of airplay.

Finally, the beautiful “Seasons of the Sun” to close out the DVD. It features Kurt on the drums plus singing, Dave on bass, and Krist on guitar. You can see the entire band smiling and having fun, jamming together. Shows how musically diverse the band was and really how talented they all were. Really beautifully done and so sad considering how things turned out.

This is a must have for any Nirvana fan. Buy this box set today, really.

It's that time of year

Thanksgiving was a blast (especially seeing all of my family and relatives). Seemed like old times. Missed Katie though, as her mom came up so they celebrated together with Katie’s sister. Still, it was a great time.

My mom, brothers, and I all went out to Black Friday. Guess we are card carrying participants now. Woke up at 3:30 am to get in line at a couple of stores before everyone showed up. Danny and I were 4th in line at the store we went to, while my mom and Justin were 1st or 2nd I believe at the other store (names stripped from this post to protect the gifts purchased). Some really great sales this year (although not as good as last year). What is up with me getting all shopping crazy now? Anyways, Katie’s gift was purchased because of the strategy of waking up at 3:30 am, so she better appreciate it. Will write more about it after Christmas.

So now it is the Christmas season. Katie and I purchased our first Christmas tree (fake) at Target for $39.99, complete with lights that came on it. The tree is up now and all lit up. Of course I put an already wrapped gift to Katie underneath. She absolutely went crazy trying to figure out what it is. She has no idea and is going to be shocked 🙂

I purchased an automatic light timer with the intent of using it to control the outside christmas lights we have strung along the balcony outside of our apartment. That way, they are off durign the day (when it is an obvious waste of electricity) and on when it is night (not as much of a waste of electricity). Problem is, I just discovered it was not to be used outside. Anyone have any suggestions for outside ones as I plan to return these and get replacements tonight.

So relaxing music is on, the decorating is almost complete, and I am already sick of this stuff! It’s that time of the year.

Happy Thanksgiving!

A Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there. Heading up to my parents house for the next day and a half. Enjoy!

I plan on listing for the first time Nirvana’s “With The Lights Out,” their supposedly excellent boxset collection. Picked it up for $27.98 at Target. Can’t go wrong.

Pearl Jam's greatest hits

I noticed that Pearl Jam will be releasing their first Greatest Hits CD on the 16th called “rearviewmirror.” Great title for a greatest hits collection. But I am even more excited over one of the tracks being included: “I Got Shit” which is a track that is very dear and personal to me. For years the only copy I was able to find for a cheap price was off of a file sharing network. Then lost the file when I had a hard drive crash, preventing me from listening to the song for a couple of years now. However, I plan to get this greatest hits album so I can finally get a quality copy of this song. Plus, it is great collection to have anyways, despite me owning all of their albums otherwise.

Switching to Gaim?

I am seriously considering switching from my AIM & DeadAIM combo for instant messaging to Gaim.

The reasons are numerous. AIM has steadly gotten more and more bloated, buggy, and generally a pain in the ass. DeadAIM fixed many of the lacking features in AIM, but it adds a new level of bugginess to AIM.

I have tried Gaim previously and found it too lacking feature wise and pretty buggy. Well I just tried version 1.0.3 and I am very impressed with how well it works so far. I am right now signed onto four different instant messaging services (AIM, Yahoo, MSN, Jabber) and not missing a beat. I am so impressed that I am going to give it a one week trial. If everything goes well, I will switch to Gaim full time for my instant messaging needs.

Great job Gaim team!

Being productive

It is amazing how productive I can be at times.

I completely cleaned the kitchen this weekend so that it looks like brand new. My computer area is completely cleaned out, organized, and everything put away neatly. I even entertained the thought of going through my stack of paperwork that needs to be organized, but I need to pick up some folder tabs at Staples so I can label everything. Maybe I can do that this afternoon.

I have three bags full of trash now to toss into the dumpster.

I am now cleaning the bedroom before Katie’s bus gets in around 3. The only thing I didn’t do was laundry and I am going to do that later today.

Maybe Katie should go visit Karen more often! 😉